•Rental Transport and Other Fees-Just because the rental company charges a delivery fee, that doesn’t
mean that is the end of the costs. Read the contract carefully (hint…a wedding planner is good at this!) and check for cleaning,
•Packaging, pickup, overtime, and other extra fees. Get them to put in your total price if possible all the fees that they will charge you rather than put it in the fine print. You can also try to negotiate caps on these fees.
•Cake Cutting Fee-Remember someone has to cut that beautiful mountain of icing. Many venues will require you to pay a cake cutting fee if you bring in an outside cake baker. When you compare prices between the outside baker and the venue baker make sure you take that and any other fees into consideration.
•Coat Check-Just because it is warm and sunny now doesn’t mean you can forget how cold a December wedding can be. Coat check service at venues can run $200 or more so make sure you get that in your total venue quote.
•Gratuities-Understand that a service charge from the venue may not be an actual tip for the wait staff…it might just be 15-20% the venue charges for hiring extra staff. Add that total to your venue cost and then think about whether you will still want to tip the waiters and waitresses and add that. Also for other tips, get the envelopes ready ahead of time for the hair dresser, limo driver, DJ, (and of course your wedding planner) so you aren’t fumbling for cash
•Welcome Bag Delivery-Most hotels won’t let you know that there is a fee if you want your goodie bags delivered to your guests rooms. Ask about this ahead of time so you can add it to the budget.
•Shopping Costs-Unless you are going to buy everything online, you are going to be driving around a ton…keep in
mind gas and time all cost. If you drive to see 5 dress shops, 3 photographers, 3 cake people, etc. pretty soon you are racking up hundreds of dollars in gas. Once again, a good wedding planner can bring these costs down by recommending good, reasonable vendors they have already worked with. Trust your planner’s recommendations.
•Bride’s Shoes-Shoes and other accessories (i.e. garter, girdle, bra, jewelry) can add up quickly. Many of these items are high markup items for a bridal shop so rather than negotiating money off your dress see if you can get some of these extras thrown in.
•Bride’s Hair and Makeup-Hair, makeup, tanning, manicure, pedicure, waxing, etc…the list goes on and on and so does the cost. Make sure you realistically budget for this number as it can end up being a large amount of money…and don’t forget tips!
•Gifts for the Wedding Party-Depending on what you do, this can run $25 to $100 or more for each attendant on both sides. Often thoughtful (and cheap) is better than expensive. Unique ideas can bring lasting memories. Either way, set a maximum amount you want to spend and put it in the budget…and stick to it.
•Wedding License-often only $50 to $100, it still needs to be paid and can be a big budget item in smaller weddings.
•Rehearsal Dinner-While traditionally the groom’s family pays for this, sometimes that isn’t the case. If you are paying for it, make sure it is in the budget (don’t forget libations and tips). If the groom’s parents are paying for it, talk to them honestly about how much they are comfortable with and make sure you work within that budget.
In conclusion, a complete and thorough budget and accounting of all anticipated costs is difficult to put together but is critical to not overspending. Even if you aren’t going to hire a wedding planner, think about paying one for a couple hours of their time to help you with your budget. It will be well worth the cost.